Arriving on Friday afternoon as a guest to a wedding on Saturday it took a good 20 minutes for anyone to show up to welcome us to the Manor. This was not a good start to our weekend!
Without looking to hard it was very noticeable that Highden Manor is in a bad state of decline. A broken window in the Manor at the front entrance was not a welcoming site to the luxury weekend advertised on their website of which we had been expecting. The deck out the back was covered in bird dropping and the chairs and tables of which we were expected to sit at also evidencing the birds were not far away and did not look as if they had been cleaned recently. Cracks in the ceilings and walls and plaster on the floor of the boardroom (of which we used over the weekend) near the front entrance. Long life milk with expiry dates dating back 12 months were found in both the rooms in the manor and lodge by the guests. The website does not in anyway portray Highden Manor as we have experienced it this weekend. Also do not think you can use the Chapel for your ceremony (as advertised still on their website on 9 February 2013) this is now a bridal shop. Two bad if it is raining the bride and groom were offered 3 umbrella's off the front deck should the sun not be shining for their special day the night before the wedding! The owners made no effort to arrange an alternative having told the bride and groom 4 days before the wedding the Chapel was no longer part of their package. A public display from the owner in the dining room this morning with the bride over the number of quests eating breakfast. They had run out of food and were not able to supply enough breakfast for all the guests that had stayed at the lodge and manor. The owner was very unprofessional in the way she dealt with this and after upsetting the bride with this public display the owner continued to hail abuse at the bride as she moved around the tables collecting plates. I was sad and embarrassed for the bride and groom who have spent the last two years preparing for their special day to be treated in such an appalling way.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on 36 acres of manicured parkland and formal rose gardens, Highden Manor Estate is registered as a Category 1 historic landmark property by The New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Built in 1896 as a country home for a Wellington Member of Parliament, The Right Honourable Walter Woods Johnston and his wife Celia, this is now a Hotel & Venue in the Manawatu countryside, just 15 minutes drive from the city of Palmerston North. Restored to its original grandeur, the Manor welcomes guests for overnight stays, conferences, weddings, private functions, retreats, and offers the perfect venue for a multitude of special occasions. Ask about the "Exclusive Use" options for your occasion, or hire the public rooms and garden and create your own event. A truly private retreat property, Highden is "An Experience" not to be missed. ... more less
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